A Year of Thanks

1 post a day for 365 days showing gratitude

a bajillion? April 21, 2010

Filed under: family fun,food,kindness toward me — courtsbrogno @ 8:49 pm

Blustery. That’s how I would describe today. And as I awoke in a pretty mundane mood (can a mood really even be mundane? Probably not, but it perfectly describes how I felt this morning), I thought how thankful I was for the blustery and rainy weather. It seemed to match my mood. Also, already by 7 a.m., I had something to be thankful for. Yay, I thought.

But then, I decided to make Martha Stewart’s mom’s pierogi recipe. I have never had pierogis before but I had watched Martha make them years ago with her mom and was intrigued. They’re Martha’s favorite meal, so I thought, I don’t really have anything to do today, so why not attempt it. Considering this is a long(er) and detailed recipe and I didn’t even know if I would actually like a pierogi, I felt like I was being risky. And so I was.

To make a pierogi, I had to make a dough, let it sit for at least an hour, make the fillings–both potato and cabbage, roll the dough out and cut into 3 inch circles, fill the dough, and then cook for a few minutes, and then make the butter sauce. It literally took all day.This is not so much due to the recipe, but more due to the fact that Luke wanted to be a part of everything and he can be–at times–very demanding.

So we made the dough:

There was flour everywhere–literally everywhere!  But we both had so much fun. And in the midst of this, my mood lifted, and I thought, “Forget the weather; I’m thankful for cooking with Luke.”

Then I made the filling, and stuffed the dough circles, and noticed they did not look anything like the pictures of Martha’s. Hers were perfect! Mine were…hmmmm….well, kind of doopey.

But I got over the look of them; after all, I was only cooking for myself, Luke, and Maddie. I threw them in a pot of boiling water and watched them sink to the bottom and then a few minutes later, rise to the top. In the meantime, I made the sauce: a simple (thank God)brown butter sauce. And voila, I had made my first ever pierogi.

And I loved them. I liked the potato better than the cabbage, but both were really good. My kids liked them, but I wouldn’t say they loved them. As I ate them, I thought, “Forget about cooking with Luke, I’m just thankful I like these.” Because, you see, I would’ve been seriously pissed had I spent all day kneading and cooking to not like the end result.

Also today, I received a belated birthday gift–a poster made by my friend Jenny. It seems that Jenny went around to my friends and asked them what they liked about me and then complied “A Bajillion things we Love about Courtney.” This poster, what can I say?

It made me cry, it made my heart swell with love, it embarrassed me, it humbled me, it inflated my ego, but most of all, it amazed me.

I read kind words from my friends–about me!–and felt amazing. The past three years have been such a difficult time in my life that it became easy for me to forget about the good things that are part of me, and just focus on the mistakes I’ve made. It also amazed me how true some of these statements were:

From Leslie: Because she wears her pessimism on her sleeve and her optimism on her heart.

From Jim: I love her blend of ironic humor and stylish appearances with a thread of the tragic and a dash of elusiveness.

There are more, and I could go on forever, but I won’t. I’m not that into myself =-)

O.K. One more.

From Jenny: Her life is an open book. When you meet her, she’s an instant friend.

I like that one because it’s true. I am an open book, and I never try to hide anything (which can get me into a lot of trouble sometimes). It’s the one thing I pride myself on–If we’re friends, we’re probably friends for life. You’re stuck with me. Possibly forever. You may regret your decision to be my friend. But I’ll love you forever and help you in whatever way I can.

Even though I woke up feeling mundane (I’m serious, that’s really how I felt: common, banal), I’m going to bed feeling the exact opposite (so perhaps extraordinary?). I’m thankful for cooking with Luke, tasty pierogis, and thoughtful friends who make me feel special and beautiful and better about myself. And I guess I’m thankful for this blustery weather after all.

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One Response to “a bajillion?”

  1. GEW Says:

    Doesn’t Jenny do the nicest things? But I didn’t get to sign your poster! So I want to say that I like you because you are so funny and honest and friendly, and I, myself, am thankful that I get to read your blog as a way of knowing you better.

    And, my goodness, girlfriend! How do you have time to do Martha Stewart cooking with everything else on your “plate”? You are an inspiration.


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